1. The men are extremely machismo (hola bonita! que hermosa!) and persistent
2. Never fall asleep on a bus, or leave your backpack in-between your legs or under the seat. It will be cut open and things will be stolen.
3. No gracias, No gracias, No gracias – say that to all the street vendors
4. Say NO next time your co-worker wants to tell you a rape or robbery story
5. Eat with your purse in your lap, never leave it unattended
6. PUSH your way onto the crowded bus despite the “enter” and “exit” doors
7. Choclo (Andean corn) is a popular topping on pizza – EW! Nasty!
8. Don’t feed the dogs, someone else will
9. Cars have the right away, not people, there are no rules of the road, or speed limits
10. Guinea Pig is a delicacy to eat
11. To have a hot shower, you have to use electricity … electric showers can catch on fire
12. It is almost impossible to get a full night’s sleep with horns, whistles, dogs barking outside
13. Never carry more than $20 USD with you because no one will know how to break it
14. Don’t shower at the same time as your roommates because the power will shutdown
15. You never know when your favorite shop or store is open because people work to live and don’t live to work, which means they decide to open and close when they want to
16. There is no sense of time here, unless you create it. (i.e. buses leave when they want)
17. No convenience exists. You have to shop around to find everything you are looking for
18. The parks present an escape for everyone
19. The altitude makes even a fit person breathe harder with a simple uphill climb
20. Despite Ecuador exporting good coffee, the coffee here is not that amazing, really watery
21. The smoking indoors ban does not exist here, sadly
22. Always remember “agua sin gas” so you don’t receive a bottle of non-flavored, carbonated tasting water. I think the U.S. is the only country that does not like gaseous water.
24. Milk and other random items come in bags or a box-like container, not in jugs.
25. Despite all the horror stories, there are extremely nice and friendly Ecuadorians